The 2023 BET Awards aired live last night, June 25, from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles. This year’s ceremony was unique as it featured a celebration of Hip Hop 50 throughout the event. The show included a number of musical performances, including musical medleys curated by Kid Capri.
Lil Uzi Vert kicked the night off before introducing The Sugar Hill Gang, MC Lyte (who also served as the announcer of the night) D-Nice, Big Daddy Kane, and a touching tribute to Biz Markie with a sing-along version of his hit “Just a Friend.” Other performances during the show included Fat Joe, Ja Rule, Jeezy, Kid ’N Play, Master P, Redman, Remy Ma, Soulja Boy, Styles P, Warren G, Trina, and Trick Daddy.
In other performance news, the always iconic Patti LaBelle paid tribute to Tina Turner and Busta Rhymes was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
It was an emotional night on many levels, but few moments brought the audience together quite like Offset and Quavo reuniting on-stage for the first time since their dearly departed Migos bandmate Takeoff was tragically killed in November of 2022. Quavo and Offset came out onstage to “Hotel Lobby,” the single that Quavo and Takeoff released last year. They later transitioned into the Migos’ huge 2016 hit “Bad And Boujee.”
Ice Spice’s scintillating performance featured tributes to her hometown and the birthplace of hip-hop the Bronx, New York. Spice began her performance by floating above a basketball court, a setup to recreate the video for her massive song “Munch” as she spit the highly quoted line, “You thought I was feelin’ you?”
After that she headed to a bodega to perform “Princess Diana.” She wrapped up her set with “In Ha Mood,” which led Ice Spice back to a recreation of the Fordham Road MTA train stop.
Additionally, GloRilla offered up a raunchy and playful performance of her celebrated and skyrocketing new single “Lick Or Sum.”
Drake led the 2023 nominees with seven nominations, including Best Male Hip Hop Artist, Album of the Year for Her Loss with 21 Savage (which they won), and the Viewer’s Choice Award. 21 Savage and Lizzo had five nominations each, while Beyoncé, Burna Boy, Ice Spice, and SZA followed with four.
Drake and 21 Savage took home the hardware for Best Group, and Drake was also honored for his feature on Future’s “Wait For U,” which earned the Best Collaboration win.
Kendrick Lamar won Best Male Hip Hop Artist, and Teyana “Spike Tey” Taylor won Video Director of the Year. Taylor wasn’t at the event, but her mother, who accepted the award on her behalf, FaceTimed the surprise artist, who gave a speech from her iPhone screen.
In the stacked Best New Artist category, Coco Jones stood out amongst the rest to win the award. The other nominees included Ambré, Doechii, FLO, GloRilla, Ice Spice, and Lola Brooke. It was one of the most heated competitions of the evening.